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Dr Andrew Mayers on Daybreak

01 November 2012

Dr Andrew Mayers, senior lecturer in Psychology at BU, was part of a feature on ITV’s Daybreak about children’s sleep patterns.

Dr Mayers has been working with primary schools in Bournemouth to try and reduce sleep deprivation in children, providing support to parents and children to create settled and consistent bedtime routines.

Young children need around ten hours sleep a night, and a lack of sleep can result in poor attention and performance in school, irritability and behavioural problems.

Daybreak’s Dr Hilary Jones led the feature on the early morning programme, looking into whether gadgets such as phones and games consoles were affecting the time children spent asleep.

Daybreak visited at Winton Primary School, one of the schools which Dr Mayers has been helping with sleep workshops for children and their parents.

Neil Tarchetti, headteacher at Winton Primary School, said that children were coming to school anxious or not behaving as they should be due to sleep deprivation, and that sleep was crucial for children to achieve their potential.

With Dr Mayers’ help, the school has set up a mock gadget-free bedroom set up to help parents learn about the importance of sleep and switching off earlier for their children.

"Mobile phones, the internet, iPhones, television – too much use of that just before bedtime can compromise your sleep," Dr Mayers told Daybreak.

Advice to improve children’s sleep includes clearing their bedroom of clutter, helping them switch off with a bedtime story rather than the TV, and a consistent bedtime routine.

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